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Nutritional Assessment
How often do you eat fast food? A possible inner-gastric pathway may operate through gastric somatostatin, which is released following the consumption of beet fiber in diabetic individuals [ ]. World Health Organization; A strong inverse relationship is described between palatability and satiation [ ]. Poults may need to be checked more frequently increase the frequency of monitoring if any of the following are observed:

POULTRY RATIONS and Feeding Methods

How To Opt Out From ‘Smart’ Meters (Before & After Measurements)

The voyage lasted more than nine months and resulted in cases of sickness and 25 deaths on a ship of men. With the support of the Japanese Navy, he conducted an experiment in which another ship was deployed on the same route, except that its crew was fed a diet of meat, fish, barley, rice, and beans.

At the end of the voyage, this crew had only 14 cases of beriberi and no deaths. This convinced Takaki and the Japanese Navy that diet was the cause. In , Christiaan Eijkman , a Dutch physician and pathologist , demonstrated that beriberi is caused by poor diet, and discovered that feeding unpolished rice instead of the polished variety to chickens helped to prevent beriberi.

The following year, Sir Frederick Hopkins postulated that some foods contained "accessory factors"—in addition to proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and salt—that were necessary for the functions of the human body. According to the Oxford English Dictionary , the term "beriberi" comes from a Sinhalese phrase meaning "weak, weak" or "I cannot, I cannot", the word being duplicated for emphasis.

According to Jacobus Bontius Jacob de Bondt; — , a Dutch physician who encountered the disease while working in Java in , In the first known description of beriberi or, beri-beri , he wrote: I believe those, whom this same disease attacks, with their knees shaking and the legs raised up, walk like sheep.

It is a kind of paralysis, or rather tremor: As most feedstuffs used in poultry diets contain enough quantities of vitamins to meet the requirements in this species, deficiencies in this vitamin do not occur with commercial diets. This was, at least, the opinion in the s. Mature chickens show signs 3 weeks after being fed a deficient diet. In young chicks, it can appear before 2 weeks of age.

Onset is sudden in young chicks. There is anorexia and an unsteady gait. Later on, there are locomotor signs, beginning with an apparent paralysis of the flexor of the toes. The characteristic position is called "stargazing", meaning a chick "sitting on its hocks and the head in opisthotonos ". Response to administration of the vitamin is rather quick, occurring a few hours later.

Differential diagnosis include riboflavin deficiency and avian encephalomyelitis. In riboflavin deficiency, the "curled toes" is a characteristic symptom. Muscle tremor is typical of avian encephalomyelitis. A therapeutic diagnosis can be tried by supplementing thiamine only in the affected bird. If the animals do not respond in a few hours, thiamine deficiency can be excluded.

Polioencephalomalacia PEM is the most common thiamine deficiency disorder in young ruminant and nonruminant animals. Symptoms of PEM include a profuse, but transient, diarrhea, listlessness, circling movements, star gazing or opisthotonus head drawn back over neck , and muscle tremors.

These bacteria produce thiaminases that will cause an acute thiamine deficiency in the affected animal. Snakes that consume a diet largely composed of goldfish and feeder minnows are susceptible to developing thiamine deficiency. This is often a problem observed in captivity when keeping garter and ribbon snakes that are fed a goldfish-exclusive diet, as these fish contain thiaminase, an enzyme that breaks down thiamine.

Thiamine deficiency has been identified as the cause of a paralytic disease affecting wild birds in the Baltic Sea area dating back to It affects primarily 0.

Researches noted, "Because the investigated species occupy a wide range of ecological niches and positions in the food web, we are open to the possibility that other animal classes may suffer from thiamine deficiency as well. More recently, species of other classes seems to be affected. Lack of thiamine is the common denominator where analysis is done.

The County Administrative Board of Blekinge did in April find the situation so alarming that they asked the Swedish government to set up a closer investigation. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the African ethnic group, see Kanuri people. Archived from the original on 11 November Retrieved 11 November Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Ferri's Clinical Advisor E-Book: Archived from the original on Vitamins in the prevention of human diseases.

Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism 6 ed. Swaiman's Pediatric Neurology E-Book: Archived from the original on October 29, Retrieved April 10, Handbook of clinical neurology. Nutrition in Preventive Medicine. Archived from the original PDF on Medical Journal of Australia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. Riverside Press, Houghton Mifflin; Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed.

Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine. Two Modes of Presentation". A Previously Unrecognized Syndrome". Elevated Lactate Secondary to Gastrointestinal Beriberi. Beriberi and thiamine deficiency". Human nutrition in the developing world Food and Nutrition Series — No.

Monitoring an acute and recovered case for twelve years. Archived from the original on 12 May A neuropathological study of 51 cases". The Australian nurses' journal. Ceskoslovenska gastroenterologie a vyziva. Annales de cardiologie et d'angéiologie.

Pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency disorders. Cerebral Energy Metabolism and Metabolic Encephalopathy. Inborn errors of pyruvate metabolism. Metabolic Basis of Inherited Disease. J Pharm Biomed Anal. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. Mysterious Prison Ailment Traced to U. Archived from the original on 30 May Bulletin de la Société de pathologie exotique. Weise; de Benoist, B. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.

Archived PDF from the original on Archived from the original on 8 June Geneeskundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch-Indie. Archived from the original on 3 September Retrieved 8 July Scott, Nutritional deficiency diseases, in Diseases of poultry , ed. A Bayesian approach to quantify the contribution of animal-food sources to human Salmonellosis. Wageningen Pers, Wageningen, , pp. Salmonella control programmes in Denmark.

A primary challenge in the 21st Century is to minimize food safety risk to consumers as the scientific complexity of food grows, and as trade, regulation, new health threats, and consumption patterns continue to change, particularly with respect to the global food supply. The World Health Organization WHO reports that surveillance of food-borne diseases is becoming an increasingly high priority in the public health agenda in many countries. Such surveillance helps estimate the burden of food-borne diseases, assess its relative impact on health and economics, evaluate disease prevention and control programmes, and allows for rapid detection of and response to outbreaks.

It is also a major source of information for conducting risk assessment, and more broadly for risk management and communication. Food-borne disease surveillance should be integrated with food monitoring data and data from food animals along the entire feed-food chain.

Integrating such data would result in robust surveillance information and allow appropriate priority setting and public health interventions. Intersectoral, inter-institutional, and international collaboration are of paramount importance. National surveillance is of varying intensity depending on the country and region on the globe.

Additionally, methods used are not necessarily uniform, making data interpretation difficult. With respect to the United States, the U. These nationally notifiable disease reporting systems collect limited standard information, help track trends in those infections, and alert local, state and national health authorities to potential outbreaks.

Serotyping clinical isolates of Salmonella at state public health laboratories is a critical part of this surveillance.

EFORS collects standardized information on more than reports of outbreaks each year. The project consists of active surveillance of food-borne diseases and related epidemiologic studies designed to help public health officials better understand the epidemiology of food-borne diseases in the United States.

Food-borne diseases include infections caused by bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Vibrio, and parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora. In , FoodNet surveillance began in five locations: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, and Oregon. Each year, the surveillance area, or catchment, has expanded, with the inclusion of additional counties or additional sites New York and Maryland in , Tennessee in , Colorado in and New Mexico in The total population of the bacterial catchment is FoodNet provides a network for responding to new and emerging food-borne diseases of national importance, monitoring the burden of food-borne diseases, and identifying the sources of specific food-borne diseases.

FoodNet provides accurate and detailed surveillance information about those infections for which surveillance is variable or non-existent from state to state. For more information see www. PulseNet reached full national participation in Public health laboratories in all 50 states routinely determine the molecular fingerprints of Escherichia coli O H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and regularly subtype common serotypes of Salmonella; standard protocols have also been developed for subtyping a growing number of other food-borne pathogens.

Rapid electronic comparison of strain patterns in state and national databases provides early detection of clusters of related infections, guiding investigations, and verifying control.

PulseNet identifies potential outbreaks that otherwise would have been missed, particularly those that are widely dispersed. Identifying and investigating such outbreaks can identify system problems in food safety, so that they can be corrected. For example, with the regular use of PulseNet, the frequency of detected outbreaks of listeriosis in the United States has increased from one every five years to two per year, focusing attention on critical points of control within the food safety system.

Food-borne outbreak investigations are a critical part of the food safety system. New and recurrent food-borne hazards can be rapidly identified by investigation of food-borne outbreaks. Careful investigation of an outbreak, including tracing the food from farm to table and reconstructing the means of contamination, is critical to move the food safety agenda forward when new hazards emerge. Most outbreaks are investigated and controlled by local and state health departments.

Information is shared within legal constraints, and information received from other organizations is used to improve analysis and respond to problems. Well-trained personnel enhance surveillance, and FDA relies strongly on State and local authorities for quality surveillance information. EOC conveys proper alerts through various mechanisms to respond effectively to these situations, as needed. There is a hour toll-free number for public health partners to call which routes the caller to the appropriate officer.

Distribution of information through the Epi-X network is to promote rapid communications of recent outbreaks and other health events among local, state, and federal health officials. Epi-X carries reports of disease events outside, as well as inside, the United States. This dissemination of international health information promotes further surveillance of these conditions in the United States, as well as follow-up collaborations with foreign authorities dealing with these health events.

It is regularly used to disseminate information by the Agency. For example, for a food product that is recalled because there is a reasonable probability that use of or exposure to the product will cause serious health consequences or death referred to as Class I , and is exported, notification will be provided to the counterpart authorities.

It enables health officials to assess risks and analyze trends, and it provides the necessary infrastructure for an early-warning system that identifies potentially hazardous foods. At present, there are laboratories representing 49 states that are part of the eLEXNET systems with 62 laboratories actively submitting data. We are continuing to increase the number of participating laboratories.

NARMS monitors antibiotic resistance of select food-borne pathogens isolated from clinical settings both human and animal and the antibiotic resistance of isolates from foods. The system was initiated in in response to public health concerns associated with the approval of fluoroquinolone products for use in poultry.

NARMS monitors changes in susceptibilities to 17 antimicrobial drugs of zoonotic enteric pathogens from human and animal clinical specimens, from healthy farm animals, from carcasses of food-producing animals at slaughter, and from isolates from samples of retail foods. The system includes a veterinary arm, a human arm, and a retail food monitoring arm.

The CCMS investigations have led to recognition of outbreaks, voluntary recalls of adulterated products, and changes to specifications of school lunch products. This system is currently undergoing an enhancement which will allow early recognition of complaint patterns that may indicate unusual or intentional events. As such it is also a surveillance system, allowing FSIS to react to the presence of pathogens considered adulterants with the appropriate public health regulatory response, as well as to provide a rough estimate of the prevalence of specific pathogens on particular products.

Timely alerts via current notification processes are needed. Effective exchange of information is difficult when countries do not carry out the same methods and procedures or do not use the same set of standards.

Many non-industrialized countries lack the resources to conduct meaningful surveillance, and even the countries that undertake surveillance may be using different methods and have different standards. These countries need trained staff in government, as well as adequately staffed and equipped laboratories and trained health care professionals, to identify and report diseases.

Establishing consistent laboratory methodologies, laboratory training, emergency preparedness training and procedures, database development, further assistance for developing countries, and strengthened communication networks are key strategies to advance the status of international food-borne disease surveillance. Identifying and exchanging specific contact information for specific products with other countries and developing agreements to cross-train with pertinent foreign officials would improve international information exchange.

Some countries could also provide training, equipment, and technical support to international organizations, as well as to individual countries. Surveillance of food-borne diseases should be given a high priority in the development of a food safety infrastructure. Building capacity for public health laboratories to conduct laboratory-based surveillance and to conduct epidemiologically-based surveillance are important global public health objectives.

The needs of developing countries should be particularly considered. There is a need to be proactive in establishing one or more sentinel sites for food-borne disease in developing countries. There is also a need to develop and coordinate a global approach to strengthen surveillance at national, regional, and international levels.

Current surveillance is dependent upon physicians and clinical laboratories reporting illness and specific diagnosed infections. Thus, an improvement would be increasing the capacity of laboratories to identify specific pathogens and developing mechanisms to facilitate reporting of specific diseases.

The ongoing support of interagency collaboration, international surveillance, and scientific research is crucial in preparing the international community to deal with food-borne disease in the global market place. Food-borne disease surveillance within individual countries is important to track and to monitor domestic food-borne threats to public health. Collected information, including active and passive reporting from sub-jurisdictions e. Within individual countries, the surveillance arm of government must coordinate with the regulatory arm of government to enforce food safety standards.

These internal food safety networks support global surveillance, communication, and coordination. Formal programmes include Global Salm-Surv a global network of laboratories and individuals involved in capacity building for surveillance, isolation, identification, and antimicrobial resistance testing of Salmonella and the European Commission Health and Consumer Protection weekly reports from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed RASFF.

One goal of RASFF is to provide individual control authorities with an effective tool for exchanging information on food safety measures. Yet, formal international food-borne disease surveillance communication is limited. Much of what is shared has been dependent upon relationships that people at various agencies developed over the years with colleagues in other countries.

Efforts are emerging to strengthen international food-borne disease surveillance. There is a more general WHO disease surveillance programme called Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response, a data mining software developed by the Canadians. A number of international links can also be found at www. Another international electronic tool for food-borne disease information is ProMed, which reports on international health issues multiple times a day.

Below are more details on some of the specific international collaborative efforts. Assisting foreign governments in investigation of large or unusual food-borne outbreaks when requested, providing reference laboratory consultations, and assisting in specific disease surveillance projects in other countries.

This includes the training courses. Facilitating the replication of the PulseNet molecular subtyping network internationally in Europe, the Asia Pacific region, and in Central and South America. This includes assisting with technical consultation and participation in training. Extending a communication network for food-borne epidemiologists in the United States, to include Health Canada and the central hub of EnterNet a cooperative arrangement among European countries.

Providing consultation and botulinum antitoxin for suspected cases of botulism to other western hemisphere countries through an agreement with the Pan American Health Organization PAHO.

Establishing the Field Epidemiology Training Programmes FETP , which assists foreign governments in establishing epidemiologic competence in disease surveillance and outbreak investigation and control and fosters international collaboration and communication among its trainees. At present, FETP is active in almost 20 countries. Developing and disseminating the SafeWaterSystem, a point-of-use drinking water disinfections strategy that can be in homes, clinics, and places of food preparation to provide safe water for drinking, washing hands, and preparing food.

Global Salm-Surv is part of WHO's effort to strengthen the capacities of its Member States in the surveillance and control of major food-borne diseases and to contribute to the global effort of containment of antimicrobial resistance in food-borne pathogens. Since , institutions and individuals in human health, veterinary, and food-related disciplines have participated in Salm-Surv activities, such as regional trainings for microbiologists and epidemiologists, external quality assurance and reference testing, an electronic discussion group, and a web-based databank containing an annual summary of laboratories.

Over the next five years, Global Salm-Surv plans to improve its regional coverage with new training courses in Central Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa, Brazil, and Europe, encourage participation in the External Quality Assurance System and in Focused Regional or National Projects, expand to other food-borne pathogens Campylobacter , produce training manuals in microbiology and epidemiology, and establish regional centers.

For more information see: This has facilitated early interventions in food-borne outbreaks in terms of investigative procedures and public health prevention strategies, thus preventing additional illnesses and possibly saving lives. A feasibility study of PulseNet Europe was completed for three food-borne pathogens Shiga-toxin producing E. The results of this study were presented and discussed at a workshop held in Paris, France on 16 June PulseNet Europe was successful in obtaining funding from the European Union for Through interactive brainstorming sessions, the benefits and challenges of forming PulseNet Asia Pacific were discussed, an action plan for the establishment of the network was developed, and a Steering Committee for this network was formed at this meeting.

Several countries Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand have already established PulseNet networks and are beginning to actively perform real-time subtyping of food-borne pathogenic bacteria. Issues related to funding for establishing and maintaining a central PulseNet database for the Asia Pacific network and for coordinating activities of the network are still to be addressed.

The participants expressed overwhelming support for the establishment of PulseNet America Latina. Public health microbiologists from six countries Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, and Venezuela were trained in the first workshop. The European Community's RASFF was established to provide control authorities with an effective tool for exchange of information on measures taken to ensure food safety. Whenever a member of the network has information relating to the existence of a serious direct or indirect risk to human health, this information is immediately notified to the Commission under the RASFF.

The Commission immediately transmits this information to the members of the network. Without prejudice to other Community legislation, the Member States immediately notify the Commission under the rapid alert system of:. To assist the members of the network, information is classified under two different headings, Alert Notification and Informational Notifications.

Alert Notifications-Alert notifications are sent when the food or feed presenting the risk is on the market and when immediate action is required.

The notification aims at giving all the members of the network the information to verify whether the concerned product is on their market, so that they also can take the necessary measures. Consumers can be reassured that products subject to an alert notification have been withdrawn or are in the process of being withdrawn from the market.

The Member States have their own mechanisms to carry out such actions, including the provision of detailed information through the media if necessary. Informational Notifications-Informational notifications concern a food or feed for which a risk has been identified, but for which the other members of the network do not have to take immediate action, because the product has not reached their market.

These notifications mostly concern food and feed consignments that have been tested and rejected at the external borders of the EU. Consumers can be reassured that products subject to an information notification have not reached the market or that all necessary measures have already been taken.

The Commission publishes a weekly overview of alert and information notifications. As it is necessary to strike the balance between openness and the protection of commercial information, the trade names and the identity of individual companies are not published. This is not detrimental to consumer protection, as a RASFF notification implies that measures have been or are in the process of being taken.

WHO is the implementing agency for the contributing institutions located in over 70 countries around the world. GEMS' purpose is to compile data on food contamination and human exposure from different countries for global synthesis, evaluation, and presentation.

In , GEMS began developing a new data structure and protocols for the electronic data submission. The protocols involve encoding and formatting data in a manner compatible with the database maintained at WHO headquarters. Protocols for aggregate and individual data on contaminant levels in specific food commodities include descriptions of the data fields needed to ensure complete, quality electronic data submissions.

Uniform implementation and wide accessibility of the GEMS system make it a model for expanded, international food surveillance efforts. While there are no all-encompassing international surveillance systems, examples that serve to illustrate the value of such systems have been illustrated. The structure, function, and interactions between each country's government agencies form the start of an eventually global surveillance, regulatory, and protective framework to curtail the transmission of food-borne diseases.

Ultimately, WHO, as the lead international public health organization, could be the focal point of such a global surveillance framework. WHO and FAO, through their collective food safety capability, including the WHO Food Safety Department and the FAO Food Standards Programme, could, with the provision of adequate financial and staffing resources, provide the organizational and scientific capability to support a global food-borne disease surveillance system.

The Forum may wish to consider the following points regarding international cooperation on food contamination and food-borne disease surveillance. Are there other major programmes and international activities that should be brought forward? Are elements missing from these strategies? What strategies should be pursued to better enable international cooperation on food-borne disease surveillance?

How best can their role be enhanced in this area? Farming and nature exercise a profound influence over each other. Farming has contributed over the centuries to creating and maintaining a variety of valuable semi-natural habitats. They shaped an important part of landscapes worldwide and are home to many of the world's richest wildlife. Farming also supports a diverse rural community that is not only a fundamental asset of international culture, but also plays an essential role in maintaining the environment in a healthy state.

Farming is an activity whose significance goes beyond simple food production. Throughout the production chain processes occur that can have an impact on the natural environment and consequently, directly or indirectly, on human health and development.

For example, heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, incorrect drainage or irrigation practices, a high level of mechanization or unsuitable land use can produce environmental degradation.

However, abandonment of farming activities can also endanger the environmental heritage through loss of semi-natural habitats as well as biodiversity and landscape associated with them. Likewise, the effect of agricultural production systems on human health directly farmer's occupational health or indirectly consumer's health through food are increasingly being recognized as an integrated element in the broader evaluation of environmental risks related to agriculture.

The links between the richness of the natural environment and farming practices are complex. While many valuable habitats are maintained by extensive farming, and a wide range of wild species rely on this for their survival, agricultural loss of wildlife can be the result of inappropriate agricultural practices and land use.

Discussions on possible future environmental effects of new technologies in food production will necessarily have to take outset in the present situation of agricultural effects on the environment, including derived effects on human health, recognizing that present trends of conventional agriculture are likely to be reflected in the objectives of modern food production.

Agriculture adds to greenhouse gas GHG problems. There are three main sources of GHG emissions from agriculture: N2O nitrous oxide emissions from soils, mainly due to nitrogen fertilization; CH4 methane emissions from intestinal fermentation, CH4 and N2O emissions from manure management. Measures being considered include: Further development of renewable, agricultural biomass could contribute to reductions in emissions from energy and transport, while benefiting the agricultural sector.

Water pollution by nitrates from agricultural sources, where improved agricultural practices are thought to improve pollution. Pesticides have been proven to have an effect on the environment and ecosystems by reducing biodiversity, especially by reducing weeds and insects which are often important elements of the food chain e.

In addition, human health can be negatively affected through direct exposure and indirect exposure, e. Systems to reduce the need for pesticide use, especially integrated pest management, organic farming or in some cases genetically modified crops are increasingly investigated at national and international level [22]. Soil degradation processes such as desertification, erosion, decline in soil organic matter, soil contamination e.

Such degradation processes can result from inappropriate farming practices such as unbalanced fertilization, over abstraction of groundwater for irrigation, improper use of pesticides, use of heavy machinery, or overgrazing.

Measures to prevent soil degradation include support to organic farming, conservation tillage, the protection and maintenance of terraces, safer pesticide use, integrated crop management, management of low-intensity pasture systems, lowering stock density and the use of certified compost.

Irrigation can also lead to environmental concerns, such as over-extraction of water from subterranean aquifers, irrigation driven erosion, soil salinization, alteration of pre-existing semi-natural habitats and, secondary impacts arising from the intensification of the agricultural production permitted by irrigation. In recent decades, the rate of decline and even disappearance of species and related habitats, ecosystems and genes i.

Declines in biodiversity are of direct consequence for food security when they affect food related organisms and relatives with relevance for breeding. Furthermore, intensified agriculture including modern breeding systems has resulted in significant reductions of landraces, adapted to local specificities as well as traditional knowledge.

Assessment of agricultural impacts on the environment requires the use of holistic models which are able to integrate multiple sources of information [23]. Previous scientific discussions have concluded that solutions applied at farm level contributed environmental problems but they are not adequate to the task of realizing long-term environmental goals.

This requires system innovations at higher levels of aggregation, involving, for example, looking for opportunities to negotiate recycling systems by linking sectors within agriculture and other areas affecting the environment, e. As a consequence of public discussion, new concepts for policies of agriculture and environment interactions have been developed in many countries including an improved public monitoring and responsibility for sustainability.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan in June , is an international work programme designed to meet the needs of decision makers and the public for scientific information concerning the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and options for responding to those changes. The MA focuses on ecosystem services the benefits people obtain from ecosystems , how changes in ecosystem services have affected human well-being, how ecosystem changes may affect people in future decades, and response options that might be adopted at local, national, or global scales to improve ecosystem management and thereby contribute to human well-being and poverty alleviation.

Work on agro-environmental indicators provided information on the current state and changes in the conditions of the environment in agriculture. It also resulted in a better understanding of linkages between the causes and impacts of agriculture on the environment, looking at agricultural policy reform, trade liberalization and environmental measures.

This all contributes to monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of policies addressing agri-environmental concerns. Hazards can take many forms, wholly natural in origin or derived from human activities and interventions.

In the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD, ratified by countries defined a legally binding instrument for biodiversity protection and sustainable use of biological resources.

The goal of the Convention on Biological Diversity is "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefit arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Biological diversity is closely linked to human interests.

Biodiversity is highly important for several quite different reasons: It provides a source of significant economic, aesthetic and cultural benefits. The well-being and prosperity of earth's ecological balance as well as human society depend directly on the extent and status of biological diversity. Naturalism and nature protection: Some difficulties for environmental protection derive from different interpretations and understanding of the idea of nature.

Especially in the consumer's debate on the creation of genetically modified organisms, the idea of the need to protect nature was often not well defined, mainly because of differences in the understanding of the concept of nature, ranging between concepts of wilderness, human environment, flexibility of natural systems [34] and ideas of naturalism.

Levels of protection may vary as goals range from sustaining ecosystem services to fully preserving endangered species or fragile protected areas. Biotic homogenization that decreases regional biotas and functional diversity would reduce resilience by reducing the available range of species-specific responses to such environmental changes as droughts, contaminants, or invasive species.

The links between environmental protection and human health through the control of direct and indirect health effects of environmental deterioration needs to be factored into these equations, notably with food safety as one of the direct indicators. Following adoption of hybrid breeding technologies further breeding objectives included methods for the introduction of increased genetic variability using several methods for mutagenesis such as chemical mutagenesis or irradiation as well as various ways of tissue cultures.

The further development resulted in the presently most advanced methods of modern biotechnologies, the production of organism by genetic modification using introduction of defined new or recombinant genetic material by vectors and transformation methods. These organisms are typically named Genetically Modified organisms or GM organisms. Improved methodology for the development of GM organisms GMOs by homologous recombination may ultimately reduce the potential for unintended effects, including health effects, of the inclusion of new genes randomly in the genome, stemming from present technology.

Likewise improved methods for a molecular containment of recombinant genes may reduce problems of unintended gene dispersal. Conflicting assessments and incomplete substantiation of the benefits, risks and limitations of GM food by various scientific, commercial, consumer and public organizations have resulted in national and international controversy regarding their safe use as food and safe release into the environment.

An example is the recent debate on food aid that contained GM material offered to countries in southern Africa in This international debate has often been focused on human health and environmental safety of these new products.

At present, only a few food crops are permitted for food use and traded on the international food and feed markets. These include herbicide- and insect-resistant maize Bt maize , herbicide-resistant soybeans, rape canola oilseed and insect- and herbicide-resistant cotton primarily a fibre crop, though refined cottonseed oil is used as food.

In addition, several government authorities have approved varieties of papaya, potato, rice, squash, sugar beet and tomato for food use and environmental release. Further development of GM crops is likely to produce a range of GM crops with enhanced nutritional profiles. A significant proportion of these traits relates directly to human health, the beta-carotene Vitamin-A precursor rich "golden rice" as the most well-known example. Other examples with health implications are removing allergens and anti-nutrients, altering fatty-acid profiles and increasing the anti-oxidant content.

All new products related to such potential health benefits will naturally need to be scrutinized through thorough environmental and food safety risk assessments. An analysis of risks and effects of food production practices using modern methods of biotechnology needs to reflect on all developments in the area, based on knowledge of modern biology and keeping in mind that the definition of modern biotechnology is often not very standardized.

Integrated pest management IPM needs to be seen in the light of modern biotechnology because of the use of advanced bio-technological methods: Definitions of IPM cover a range of approaches: Suitable pest control methods should be used in an integrated manner and pesticides should be used on an "as needed basis" only, and as a last resort component of an IPM strategy.

In such a strategy, the effects of pesticides on human health, the environment, sustainability of the agricultural system and the economy should be carefully considered. According to FAO, IPM programmes are designed to generate independence and increased profits for farmers, and savings on foreign imports for governments.

IPM enables farmers to make informed decisions to manage their crops. Sometimes also organic farming is discussed as a modern technology for food production, where farmers adhering to this idea are aiming for similar objectives like IPM but more clearly pronounce the ideas of integrity, self determination and co evolution.

Principles of the environmental risk assessment, ERA: In many national regulations the elements of the ERA for GM food organisms include the biological and molecular characterizations of the genetic insert, the nature and environmental context of the recipient organism, the significance of new traits of the GMO for the environment, and information on the geographical and ecological characteristics of the environment in which the introduction will take place.

The risk assessment focuses especially on potential consequences on the stability and diversity of ecosystems, including putative invasiveness, vertical or horizontal gene flow, other ecological impacts, effects on biodiversity and the impact of presence of GM material in other products. Internationally the concept of familiarity was developed also in the concept of environmental safety of transgenic plants. Familiarity can also be used to indicate appropriate management practices including whether standard agricultural practices are adequate or whether other management practices are needed to manage the risk OECD, Currently the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is the only international regulatory instrument which deals specifically with the potential adverse effects of genetically modified organisms known as Living Modified Organisms LMOs under the Protocol on the environment.

The Biosafety Protocol covers transboundary movements of any genetically modified foods that meet the definition of LMO. The Protocol establishes a harmonized set of international rules and procedures designed to ensure that countries are provided with the relevant information, through the information exchange system called "Biosafety Clearing-House". This Internet-based information system enables countries to make informed decisions before agreeing to the import of LMOs. It also ensures that LMO shipments are accompanied by appropriate identification documentation.

Furthermore, the scope of its consideration of human health issues is limited, given that its primary focus is biodiversity, in line with the scope of the Convention itself. Potential unintended effects of GMOs on non target organisms, ecosystems and Biodiversity: Potential risks for the environment include unintended effects on non target organisms, ecosystems and biodiversity.

Insect resistant GM crops have been developed by expression of a variety of insecticidal toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis Bt. Detrimental effect on beneficial insects or a faster induction of resistant insects depending on the specific characteristics of the Bt proteins, expression in pollen and areas of cultivation have been considered in the environmental risk assessment ERA of a number of insect protected GM crops.

These questions are considered an issue for monitoring strategies and improved pest resistance management, which inherently can affect food safety in the longer term. Under certain agro-ecological situations, such as a high weed pressure, the use of herbicide tolerant crops has resulted in a reduction in quantity of the herbicides used, in other cases no herbicide reductions or even the need of increased herbicide uses have been reported.

Out-crossing of transgenes has been reported from fields of commercially grown GM plants including oilseed rape and sugar beet, and has been demonstrated in experimental releases for a number of crops including rice and maize.

Out-crossing could result in an undesired transfer of genes such as herbicide resistance genes to non-target crops or weeds creating new weed management problems. The consequences of out-crossing can be expected in regions where a GM crop has a sympatric distribution and synchronized flowering period, that is highly compatible with a weedy or wild relative species as demonstrated e.

The possibility that certain genetically engineered fish and other animals may escape, reproduce in the natural environment and introduce recombinant genes into wild populations is a concern of a report of a recent US Academy of Science study [46]. Genetically engineered insects, shellfish, fish and other animals that can easily escape, are highly mobile and form feral populations easily, are of concern, especially if they are more successful at reproduction than their natural counterparts.

For example, it is possible that transgenic salmon with genes engineered to accelerate growth released into the natural environment could compete more successfully for food and mates than wild salmon, thus endangering wild populations. The use of sterile all-female genetically engineered fish could reduce interbreeding between native populations and farmed populations, a current problem with the use of non-engineered fish in ocean net-pen farming.

Sterility eliminates the potential for spread of transgenes in the environment, but does not eliminate all potential for ecological harm. Monosex triploidy is the best existing method for sterilizing fish and shellfish, although robust triploidy verification procedures are essential. Gene transfer between bacteria belonging to different species, genera or even families has been demonstrated in soil and other systems.

Such gene transfer goes on between ordinary microorganisms in all ecosystems, and has also been demonstrated from GM microorganisms to other microorganisms, e. The transfer of antibiotic genes to microorganisms present in foods and of clinical importance is an unwanted event relative to food safety, while the very low frequency of such transfer most probably leads to very low levels of concern.

Only a limited number of releases of GM microorganisms e. Pseudomonas and Rhizobia have been permitted mainly to explore the spread and the fate of microorganisms in nature. In some cases released GM bacterial populations have been found to persist in the soil for years.

Regional specificity in safety assessments: Contradictory findings as relates benefits or disadvantages for the same GM crop may reflect different agro-ecological conditions in different regions.

For example, the use of herbicide resistant crops and the consequent herbicide use could potentially be detrimental in a small sized agricultural area, which has extensive crop rotation and low levels of pest pressure.

However, the moderate herbicide use related to these GM plants could be beneficial in other agricultural situations where it might represent a decrease in herbicide use. Presently, no conclusive evidence on environmental advantages or costs can be generalized from the use of GM crops. Consequences may vary significantly between different GM traits, crop types and different local conditions including ecological and agro-ecological characteristics.

In , the UK government asked an independent consortium of researchers to investigate how growing genetically modified GM crops might affect the abundance and diversity of farmland wildlife compared with growing conventional varieties of the same crops. The researchers stress that the differences they found do not arise just because the crops have been genetically modified. They arise because these GM crops give farmers new options for weed control where they use different herbicides and apply them differently.

Monitoring of human health and environmental safety: In the future specific GM organisms may gain approvals for widespread production where the approval may not always include the possibility to enter them also in the human food supply. Examples could be plants or animals used for drug production. In such situations, it will be important to consider whether or not to apply post-market monitoring for unexpected environmental spread of the GM animals or animals and their transgenes in the event that these would pose food safety hazards.

A prerequisite for any kind of monitoring are tools to identity or trace GMOs or products derived from GMOs in the environment or food-chain. Detection techniques such as PCR are in place in a number of countries to monitor the presence of GMOs in foodstuffs, to enable the enforcement of GM labelling requirements and for the monitoring of effects on the environment.

Attempts to standardize analytical methods for tracing GMOs have been initiated e. The need to assess indirect effects of the use of GMOs in food production has been emphasized by many countries. For example, the production of chemicals or enzymes from contained GM micro-organisms e. A further example of beneficial human environmental outcomes of the use of GM crops is the reduction in the use, environmental contamination and human exposure to pesticides demonstrated in some areas.

This has been demonstrated especially through the use of pesticide resistant Bt cotton, which has been shown to decrease pesticide poisoning in farm workers [51]. Out-crossing of GM plants with conventional crops or wild relatives, as well as the contamination of conventional crops with GM material, can have an indirect effect on food safety and food security by contamination of genetic resources [52].

The Codex guidelines for the safety assessment of GM foods include the analysis of potential unintended effects, where effects on the environment may result in unintended, indirect effects on human health.

Crop breeding strategies are highly dependent upon preservation of diversity of crops and wild relatives. Many methods of conventional and modern biotechnology can interfere with diversity of organisms which have relevance for further breeding. In crops these methods can often concentrate on the further improvement of few elite lines only. The majority of locally adapted land races e. Also the system for the protection of intellectual property rights interferes with crop diversity.

There is growing scientific and public concern about a rapid decline of diversity, e. On the other hand modern methods of biotechnology can be beneficial for enabling diversity in scenarios where possibilities of conventional breeding are difficult because of sterility and pests, e. Historically, plant genetic resources were freely provided by developing countries to gene-banks world-wide. Now international policy attaches importance to national ownership of such resources.

An important aspect for the future potential of agricultural research is access to genetic resources for researchers on terms that recognize the contributions made by farmers to the conservation and sustainable utilization of these resources. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources adopted at a conference by the Food and Agriculture Organization in November , provides the legal framework for dealing with the resources on which food security and sustainable agriculture depend.

The Treaty gives a directive on the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture making provision for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use, in harmony with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity CBD.

The Treaty also addresses farmers' rights. The Treaty establishes a Multilateral System of Facilitated Access and Benefit-sharing MLS for key crops, emphasizing the interdependency of countries in terms of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. The developing countries rich in genetic resources are encouraged to place germplasm in the MLS.

The users of the material will sign a Material Transfer Agreement, incorporating the conditions for access and benefit sharing through a fund established under the Treaty.

In return, the owners of the genetic resources would get a share of the benefits arising from their use and development in the way of information, technology transfer and capacity building. Agency for International Development reported that between and the year the world lost 22 percent of its high-potential agricultural land.

That's , square miles, an area equal in size to Alaska. The loss is alarming because, as population pressures mount, agricultural production will have to expand onto medium- and low-potential lands that are not only less productive but also more fragile and susceptible to degradation. Soil is degraded mainly through deforestation, agricultural activities, overgrazing, and overexploitation.

Biophysical manifestations include erosion and loss of moisture-holding capacity. But more important, and more complex, are the social and economic aspects. Indeed, some view land degradation as a socioeconomic rather than biophysical problem. For example, population growth increases demand for land on which to grow crops, which often leads to deforestation, shorter fallow periods, and continuous cropping.

Short-sighted economic policies often make the problem worse by encouraging farmers to clear new land for cultivation rather than to protect land already under cultivation. Insecure land tenure arrangements discourage farmers from making long-term investments needed for resource conservation. The Impacts of trade liberalization: The implementation or reform of agricultural and trade policy creates a complicated set of environmental effects - some negative, some positive, and in some cases linked to food safety issues.

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